Grockit introduces a social networking approach to SAT prep
The SAT continues to loom for high school students each year. This despite the fact that some educators debate its value and a number of college admissions officers admit relying on it less and less. The test (and its cousin the ACT) also remains a potential headache for parents, particularly those concerned with the test’s role in advancing academic and career prospects.
Test makers originally claimed there wasn’t any preparation or study that could improve outcomes for the SAT. That myth has long since been busted. Today, college bound kids who can afford it take some kind of SAT prep. But the price is steep: group classes start around six hundred dollars and private tutors cost even more. Even online video lessons can cost almost as much.
Several companies, including the College Board (writers of the SAT) and Princeton Review offer online self-guided courses. Another worth knowing about is Grockit, an online test prep service that is subscription based and combines “social, collaborative and personal learning” with “adaptive learning” systems that respond to a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. (Adaptive learning is generating buzz in education for its promise to support self-paced learning. In essence, delivering more or less challenging problems based on a student’s progress through a lesson. Stay tuned for more on that.)
For a monthly fee, Grockit offers unlimited access to workbook-style interactive lessons and other services for SAT prep, ACT, GMAT, or GRE, along with a number of advanced placement (AP) college courses. Some Grockit resources are even available as mobile apps. The company is also developing partnerships with schools and textbook publishers to adapt curricula for its online courses.
In the case of test preparation, first-time users can indicate the date of their upcoming tests and take an initial diagnostic exam that enables Grockit to personalize a study plan. In addition to the practice sessions, Grockit offers narrated videos that walk students through sample test questions. They'll also connect users with live teachers for individual online tutoring sessions.
Grockit’s more compelling features include its social learning functions, which enable students to study with their peers, chat, share strategies for dealing with specific problems, or tout their own achievements. A user’s profile can showcase test results or the badges received for progress and special achievements. Grockit recently announced the inclusion of its app in Facebook’s Timeline feature, enabling users to highlight academic achievements to their broader community of friends and family.
With anytime anywhere access, a learning platform that enables self-paced progression, and broad social networking functionality, Grockit is proving itself to be a supportive engine for college bound students and their parents. What’s more, Grockit is helping to demonstrate the core components of a 21st century education, including the integration of digital technologies with classroom instruction and sharing among peer-based and broader online communities. That's something easy to like.